Last week I shared my opinions on AIIM cancelling the CIP certification program. Similar opinions were shared in many blogs (Mark Owen compiled a nice list), tweets, LinkedIn, and many other channels. I don’t want to dwell on the specifics of those posts because an important thing happened shortly afterwards. Just seven days after AIIM announced the end of the CIP, AIIM reversed course and recommitted to the CIP with the promise of an update at the 2016 AIIM conference.
That’s right. The CIP IS BACK and it is because of the community.
That doesn’t mean that all is right in the universe. If anything, this chaos reveals to us that there are real problems out there. Luckily we also learned that there are passionate people in the community who can be roused to action when they feel they can make a difference.
The clearest lesson from this is that AIIM is too disconnected from their community. They do get out and meet a lot of members but they somehow missed the importance of the CIP to the community. This raises an important question,
What else is AIIM assuming incorrectly?
That is a question that I cannot answer as I am not in any of the behind-the-scenes discussions. It is clear that AIIM needs better ways to have conversations with all their members. The chapters would be an obvious place to look but chapters have not been a priority at AIIM for a while. Just talk to the leaders of several chapters to understand the lack of support from the parent organization.
What DO We Do NOW?
The first is to help with the CIP. It isn’t perfect but the first iteration of an exam rarely is. The CIP does need regular updating and we should support AIIM in those efforts where we can.
We also need to let AIIM know how we feel, publically. One thing we have learned is that when we make our thoughts known in a public forum, others will chime in and share their thoughts. Nobody wants to be the only one pointing out the need for change and simply sharing would be of great benefit. You never know when there will be a universal feeling of support for something until you ask. Expect a lot from me in this area.
Most importantly, we need to make sure that if this ever happens again AIIM can’t say we never did anything to help. We have to be able to say that we care and that we tried.
So I am asking these question of AIIM, “What can I do to help? What actions do I need to encourage the rest of the community to take?”